Title: Twisted by Hannah Jayne
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Mystery
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Guilty until proven innocent…
Bex has always been her daddy’s little girl. After her mother left, it was just the two of them. Sure he spoiled her with clothes and jewelry, but what father doesn’t dote on his daughter?
Except Bex’s dad is alleged to be a notorious serial killer. Dubbed “The Wife Collector” by the press, her father disappeared before he could stand trial. And Bex was left to deal with the taunts and rumors. Foster care is her one chance at starting over, starting fresh.
But Bex’s old life isn’t ready to let her go. When bodies start turning up in her new hometown, the police want to use her as bait to bring her father in for questioning. Is Bex trapping a serial killer or endangering an innocent man?
Twisted by Hannah Jayne is a suspenseful young adult mystery.
Changing her name from Beth Anne Reimer is just the first step for Bex Andrews as she begins a new life in Kill Devil Hills with her new foster family. Seven long months after her grandmother’s death, she is quite eager to leave behind the legacy of her suspected serial killer father. Dubbed “The Wife Collector” by the media, Bex’s dad vanished before he could be tried for his crimes. However, due to the notoriety of the case, Bex and her grandmother were vilified by their neighbors and they essentially lived in seclusion. Now living with a terrific family who have no idea about her past, Bex’s happiness is quickly marred by a series of murders that are eerily similar to ones her father is alleged to have committed ten years earlier.
Bex is a relatable yet, extremely frustrating, character. On the one hand, it is impossible not to feel empathy for everything she has endured. She feels responsible for her father’s arrest and she continues to harbor doubts about his guilt even in the face of overwhelming evidence that refutes his claim of innocence. Bex is incredibly naive and extremely gullible which makes her very easy to manipulate. She is also plagued with self-doubts which become tired and repetitive as she constantly lets these fears overrule her common sense. These annoying traits along with her fears, nervous reactions, excessive crying, throwing up and inattentiveness quickly wear thin and make it virtually impossible to like Bex by the time the novel ends.
With most of the focus on Bex and her past, the secondary cast of characters suffer from a lack of development. Her foster parents are quite supportive and while it is understandable Bex wants to escape from her past, at some point, she should have confided in them and asked for help. Bex is quickly befriended by some of her new classmates but they remain rather one-dimensional. Her new romance with Trevor moves at lightning speed and although he is quite charming, his character also falls a little flat.
The mystery aspect of Twisted is certainly intriguing and Hannah Jayne does an excellent job keeping readers wondering if the current murders are, in fact, connected to The Wife Collector case. However, Bex’s continued belief in her father’s innocence seems highly improbable when all of the evidence against him is revealed. Some of the storyline is certainly eyebrow raising but completely implausible so be prepared to suspend disbelief as the plot unfolds. The conclusion is predictable yet satisfying since all of the loose ends are completely wrapped up.